Skip to main content

Full text of "The art of miniature painting"

See other formats


This is a digital copy of a book that was preserved for generations on library shelves before it was carefully scanned by Google as part of a project 

to make the world's books discoverable online. 

It has survived long enough for the copyright to expire and the book to enter the public domain. A public domain book is one that was never subject 

to copyright or whose legal copyright term has expired. Whether a book is in the public domain may vary country to country. Public domain books 

are our gateways to the past, representing a wealth of history, culture and knowledge that's often difficult to discover. 

Marks, notations and other maiginalia present in the original volume will appear in this file - a reminder of this book's long journey from the 

publisher to a library and finally to you. 

Usage guidelines 

Google is proud to partner with libraries to digitize public domain materials and make them widely accessible. Public domain books belong to the 
public and we are merely their custodians. Nevertheless, this work is expensive, so in order to keep providing tliis resource, we liave taken steps to 
prevent abuse by commercial parties, including placing technical restrictions on automated querying. 
We also ask that you: 

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Google Book Search for use by individuals, and we request that you use these files for 
personal, non-commercial purposes. 

+ Refrain fivm automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort to Google's system: If you are conducting research on machine 
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the 
use of public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help. 

+ Maintain attributionTht GoogXt "watermark" you see on each file is essential for in forming people about this project and helping them find 
additional materials through Google Book Search. Please do not remove it. 

+ Keep it legal Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just 
because we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States, that the work is also in the public domain for users in other 
countries. Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of 
any specific book is allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Google Book Search means it can be used in any manner 
anywhere in the world. Copyright infringement liabili^ can be quite severe. 

About Google Book Search 

Google's mission is to organize the world's information and to make it universally accessible and useful. Google Book Search helps readers 
discover the world's books while helping authors and publishers reach new audiences. You can search through the full text of this book on the web 

at |http: //books .google .com/I 


•i. f ■ 








^rs jndbai arttficem* 


ftrtiffts' (Tolmtr i^itors, bz fecial lappoinhnent, ia f^er ^ajfsts, anti ia 

I5.».!5. mnct aibert. 


/yk^yhiy. ^^^ 


Printed by Schulze and Co., 13, Poland Street. 


* Q^ 

In preparing the following p^ges for the Press, to 
form one of a very important series of Works on the 
promotion of Art, I have been mainly influenced by a 
desire to be as simple as possible in the rules and 
directions I give, and to state my reasons for these rules. 
K the causes of failure, in the instructions given in the 
different branches of Art, were duly investigated, it would 
probably be ascertained that in many cases this failure 
has arisen from its being taken for granted, that the 
pupil is in possession of a certain amount of previous 
knowledge of the subject. I have made, in the present 
instance, no such supposition; my object being to treat 
of the materials, the processes, and the principles in this 
branch of Art, in such a manner as if the learner knew 


nothing of any of them. I cannot but hope that this will 
be found to be the wisest course ; that, by thus carefully, 
though briefly, explaining of every process, in consecutive 
order and dependence, I shall be found to have brought 
the subject thoroughly home to the understanding of the 

LONDON, JULY, 1852. 





» • • • • • « • 

• • • 

• • • • • • 


To prepare ivory. 

*• ••• ••• 

• • • • « • 


Brushes ... 

•• ••• ••• 

• • • 

• • • • • 


Prepared ox-gall, 

iKC« • • • . • t 

• • • 

• • • • • • 


Colours used in miniature painting 

• • • 

• • « « • • 



••• ••• ••■ 

■ • 

• ■ • • • ■ 


PiiLk madder 

• • < 

■ • • ••■• 


Rose madder 


■ • . 

• • • ■ • • 


Crimson lake 


• •■ 

• • • « • • 


Venetian red 

• , 

■ ■ * • •• 


Light red ... 

• . 

■ ■ • • • • • 


Indian red ... 


• ■ 1 

• • ■ • • • 


Vermilion ... 


• • 4 

• • • • • • 


Scarlet vermilion 

■ • • * • • • 


Orange vermilion 

• • 

• • a • • • 

Chrome yellow 

• • 

* • • • ■ • • 


Indian yellow 


• • ■ • •• 

Roman ochre 


• •• • •• 


Gamboge ... 

t • 



Cadmium Yellow 

• • • •• • 




> • ■ 

• • • • • ■ 


Ultramarine ash 

• • 4 

• • • • • • 



• • ■ 

• •• ••• 




French blue 

Burnt sienna 
Mars orange 
Burnt umber 

Madder brown 
Neutral tint 
Purple madder 
Constant white 
Chinese white 
Ivory black... 


Dark complexions 
Sliadows ... 

Shadow colour 

Demi tints, or half tints... 

Colour of eyes 

Cheeks and lips 

The neck and bosom 

Hands and arms 

xiair ... ... ... 

Flaxen hair... ... ..< 

Auburn hair 
Mouse-coloured hair ... 
Bright red hair 
Dark brown hair 
Raven-black hair 
Grey hair ... 



General observations on the face 











Dress and drapery 

••• ••• «•• 

• • • • • • 

... 43 


• ■>• ■•• ••« 

■ • • ■ ■ 



■ ••■ ••• ■•< 

• • • • • 



• ••• ••• ••• 



Compound tints ... 

••• ••• ••• 

• • • • • • 

... 46 


• ••• ••• ••< 

• • • • • 



• ■ • • • 



• ■•• ••• •• 

• •• 



• ••• ••• ■• 

• • • • • 



■■ ••• ••« •• 

i • • ■ • • 


*• ■■• ••• •■ 

i • • • • • 




t • • • •• 



■•• ••• ••• 

• • • • • 

... 48 


••■ ••• ••• 

» • • • • 

... 52 

Bristol Board 

••• »•• ••■ 

• . * 

... 54 


••• ••• ••• 

• ■ • • • < 

... 56 




There are three kinds of materials on which miniatures 
are painted, namely : ivory, paper, and vellum ; but as the 
first two are the most usual in England, I shall confine 
my remarks to them. 

Painting on parchment or vellum is practised in France, 
and on the continent generally; but parchment being a 
material inferior to ivory and Bristol board, its use has 
become obsolete in England. 


The first thinff necessary to be attended to, is the choice 
of ivory. Of t^ there Je two sorts.-hard ivory, which 
is generally prepared ; and soft or absorbing ivory, which. 


besides being more difficult to wash colour upon, requires 
much greater labour in working. Ivory, which is grained 
all over, must be rejected, and those pieces alone chosen 
which have a clear space in the centre, broad enough for 
the face to be painted on it ; for the hair, the dress, and 
the back ground will be so inevitably charged with colour, 
as to render the striated vertical grain in the other parts 

Ivory properly prepared for use may now be procured 
at ail the artists^ colour shops ; so that it is scarcely worth 
the time and trouble of painters to prepare it for themselves ; 
as, however, in the country or abroad, there might be a 
difficulty in procuring these ivories, I will describe the 
best method of rendering it fit for use ; premising that when 
the leaves come from the ivory-cutter, they are smooth and 
shining, and more or less full of scratches from the saws 
used in cutting them ; and hence, in that state, they are bad 
for working on, and incapable of receiving colour. The 
object, in their preparation, is to erase these scratches, and 
to produce a ^^ tooth^^ or surface to which the colour may 


For this purpose, a flat, nicely-smoothed, square piece of 
wood — (an inch or more in thickness, to prevent its warp- 
ing) — a basin of clean water, and a sponge thoroughly free 
from grease, are required. Dip your ivory in the water, so 


that both sides may be wet ; then, laying it on the board, 
sift on it some prepared pumice-stone, and with a glass 
^^ muller,'' the bottom of which is wet, rub over the ivory, 
not up and down or across, but with a circular motion; 
continuing this for a quarter of an hour or twenty minutes, 
or, in fact, until the scratches have disappeared ; by which 
time also the surface will have lost its polish, and will 
have gained a tooth, i. e, a roughness which will permit the 
colour to adhere. During this process the pumice must be 
kept moist by the pressure of water from the sponge, but 
not too wet ; whilst occasionally the ivory must be washed 
clean, with a large camel hair pencil, to ascertain whether 
the scratches have disappeared and every shiny spot has been 
removed. This effected, the ivory must be most carefully 
washed in several clean waters with a large camel-hair 
pencil, and then laid in the sun to dry and to bleach; or, 
in default of sun, at such a distance from the fire, that it 
may dry gradually and not split from warping. 

As pumice in powder, in the state in which it is usually 
procured, is ftdl of gritty particles that would add to the 
scratches on the ivory, instead of helping to remove them; 
it must therefore be placed in a small bag of fine muslin, 
and through that be "pounced^' over the ivory, in the 
state of an impalpable powder ; a state easUy ascertained by 
the finger. 

Should ivory get yellow by time, or by being kept shut 
up in the dark, wet it on both sides, and put it to dry in 
the sun ; this will effectually bleach it. 



It is indispensable that sable brosbes should be used for 
miniature painting. Pencils of camePs hair are worthless 
for that purpose, from their want of elasticity. Eed sables 
are sometimes preferred, from their greater stiflBtiess, and 
black sables for their having better points. The small sable 
pencil used for stippling should not be too small; since, if 
it be too small, it leads to an excess of finish, or rather 
stippling, which distracts the attention from the higher 
objects of art, namely, depth, soUdity, and colour. 


This preparation is not necessary for ivory, but is some- 
times indispensable for greasy paper ; the less however it is 
used, the better. If you have any doubt about the paper 
or Bristol board being free from grease, wash it all over 
with clean water and a camePs hair pencil. 

A glass muller, a ground-glass slab, and a small palette 
knife, for grinding and mhing colours in powder, will be 
required ; a bottle, also, of gum arabic water, not too thin, 
as it is at any time easily diluted. A tracing point wiU be 
necessary ; not too sharp, or it will indent the ivory as well 
as make a line so fine as to be barely visible. A scraper is 
also necessary. This instrument is sold at the colour shops. 
Some painters use a lancet, others a needle. 



Carmine, — ^This well-known, brilliant crimson possesses 
great power in its fall touches, and much clearness 
in its pale washes, although not equalling the pink 
or rose madder in this latter quality. Carmine flows 
and works extremely well. For flesh tints the carmine 
prepared in cakes is best, but for draperies I prefer 
to use the powder. In this state it is to be rubbed 
up on a slab with water diluted with a very little 
weak ammonia. 

Pink Madder. — ^This very deHcate carnation is much 
used on account of its superior permanency. It is clearer 
in its pale tints than either crimson, lake, or carmine, but 
does not possess intensity. 

Hose Madder is similar to the above, but possessing a 
little more depth. 

Orimson Lake is similar in its character to carmine, 
but wanting the extreme richness and brilliancy of 
the latter. It is useful for mixing various tints in 

Venetian, Red, — A permanent and beautiful colour. Its 
tints, though not bright, are clear, and it mixes and works 
kindly with cobalt or French blue, affording fine pearly 
greys. I prefer it to light red, as being not only of a 
better tint, but working better. 

Light Red. — ^A clear and transparent, low-toned red, 
similar in character to Venetian red, with somewhat more 
of an orange tint. 


Indian Red is of a purpleish red colour. It makes an 
excellent shadow colour for flesh, both alone and mixed 
with blue. 

Vermilion. — ^A heavy colour, not to be used very freely 
in flesh tints. A want of transparency, and its not flowing 
well, preclude its being used so generally as would be 

Scarlet Vermilion is a little more scarlet in tint than the 
above, and washes better. 

Orange Vermilion is rather more transparent than the 
others, with a clear but not bright orange tint ; it washes 
moderately well, and by some miniature painters is much 

Chrome Yellow is an opaque, or body colour. It is 
highly necessary for touches, or for heightening to gold, &c. 
There are three tints of chrome yellow — ^pale, deep, and 
orange ; but in miniature painting the Ughtest tint will be 
found sufficiently deep. 

Indian Yellow, — ^A very fine intense yellow. It is per- 
manent, and works extremely well. It is used in flesh tints 
mixed more or less with Venetian red, being also a service- 
able colour for draperies, skies, &c. 

Roman Ochre is used both for dark flesh colour and for 
draperies : it is for these purposes preferable to yellow ochre. 

Gamhoge. — A pale and somewhat green yellow, occasionally 
used in draperies. 

Cadmium Yellow. — ^A splendid powerful orange yellow. 
It is extremely brilliant, and nearly transparent, and is the 
best vehicle for obtaining an orange tone. 


Ultramarine. — ^Pennanent, but not working well, except 
in large masses in draperies. It is most pure in tint, 
and at the same time one of the most permanent 
pigments known. It is not so well calculated for mixed 
tints as many other blues, on account of its gritty 

Ultramarine Ask is not so positive in tint as ultra- 
marines, but washes much better ; it is occasionally used 
in flesh. 

Cobalt. — A very useful colour in every respect, sufficiently 
bright, permanent, and washing well. Cobalt blue, pink 
madder, and raw sienna are sometimes used as a flesh 

French Blue. — Darker than cobalt and of great depth ; 
it is permanent, resembles the tint of real ultramarine, and, 
although not so pure and vivid, is more generally useful, as 
it washes and works well. 

Indigo. — ^A useful colour for dark blue compound tints. 

Prussian Blue. — ^Used in miniature draperies; useful 
also to represent blue velvets ; and when it is mixed with 
carmine, all the varieties of purple, violet, and morone 
velvets may be obtained by it. 

Burnt Sienna. — ^A rich transparent brown orange, useful 
in warm complexions. 

Mars Orange. — ^A very clear and beautiful orange, of the 
burnt sienna character, but without the tendency to brown 
which distinguishes the latter ; it is, consequently, valuable 
in its pale wash for bright sunny tints, and in flesh painting 
is unequalled for clearness of tone. 



Burnt Umber. — ^A very useful colour for hair and 

Sepia. — A valuable cool brown pigment. Its pale washes 
are extremely clear. Mixed with other colours, it affords a 
series of valuable tints. 

Madder Brown. — A rich lakey russet brown, affording 
equally the richest description of shadows and the most 
delicate pale tints. It forms a soft shadow colour with 
blue ; alone it may be used to lower red curtains or 
draperies, and for the darkest touches in flesh. 

Neutral Tint. — A very useftd colour as a vehicle for 
many other compound tints. 

Purple Madder. — ^An intensely deep, rich, and warm 
purple, affording the greatest depth of shadow, without 
coldness of tint. 

Constant White. — Adapted for the highest lights where 
white is used, such as the touches of the eye, tip of 
the nose, &c. It has not much body, working but in- 

Chinese White. — ^This is a very eligible material ; it has a 
fine body, works well, and is quite permanent. In these 
properties it excels every other white pigment which has 
been hitherto tried as a water colour. 

Lamp Black. — ^An opaque black, excellent for mixing 
with Chinese white as a body colour ; it is the ground for 
a black coat. It has a very strong body that covers every 
underlay of colour readily. 

Ivory Black is the richest and most transparent black, 
and has a slight tendency to brown in its pale washes. 


As ivory is semi-transparent, it is indispensable to put 
some opaque white substance behind it. Some artists gum 
the upper edge to a piece of Bristol board, but this is a bad 
plan, because if the Bristol board warp, (and it is very 
liable to do so), it will, from its thickness, cause the ivory 
to warp also, even to splitting, or at least causing much 
annoyance. I have found the best plan to be, to gum the 
upper edge of the ivory to three or four thicknesses of 
writing-paper, (themselves gummed to each other by the 
upper edge), taking care to leave the paper a quarter of an 
inch higher than the ivory, merely for the purpose of 
pinning it to the desk, or book, or whatever you choose to 
place it on for painting ; thus arranged, the writing-paper 
will not warp the ivory, being more pHant than the stiffer 
Bristol boards. A gentleman once complained to me, that 
a miniature I had painted for him " had all turned blue," 
and, on seeing it, I instantly discovered that the paper, — 
which had been placed behind it,, and which had been 

c 2 



carefully gumined, as will be hereafter explained, — ^had been 
removed by him, when of course the dark-coloured table on 
which it was placed appeared through. The defect was 
soon remedied by placing the ivory again on white paper, 
not without hazard however of injuring the miniature by 
the necessity of gumming it on when finished. 

As the size of ivory is very limited, few painters can 
judge so correctly of the size and proper position of the 
head they are about to paint on it, as to begin at once with 
the brush. A black-lead outUne on ivory must be strictly 
avoided. Various modes of attaining this first form are 
practised by various painters ; such as putting an outline 
beneath the ivory, and painting on it with this " palpable 
obscure'' as a guide. If you prefer to adopt this method, 
cut a card about an inch larger each way than your ivory, 
which you fix in a temporary manner thus : — 

Lay the ivory evenly on the card ; make a pencil mark on 
the card at each end of the ivory; and then cut four 
teeth, or angular points,. in the form of a V, at the comers 


near the ends of these pencil-marks, quite through the 
card, as shown in the diagram : slide the ivory under these 
four points of the card, and this will hold it securely. 
The drawing being made on a piece of paper somewhat 
smaller than the size of the ivory, you have the advantage of 
being enabled to move the drawing to any part of the ivory 
you may desire. 

The surest way, however, is to make a clear, careful 
outline (leaving out all shading) on a piece of rather thin 
and glazed writing-paper. Eub the back of this paper 
with Venetian red in powder, then arrange it as your taste 
may point out on the back of the ivory, and while it is kept 
steady in its place by a small weight, carefully trace the 
outhne of the drawing with an engraver^s etching needle 
having a blunted point, 6r with a ^^ tracing point^^ made 
for the purpose, occasionally lifting up the paper (without 
however altering its position) in order to see that the lines 
you have made do appear distinctly ; you wiU then have a 
clear red outline on your ivory — a colour that will not 
interfere with the corrected outline presently to be made. 

Be careful that your " tracer^^ be not too sharp at the 
point, or it may indent the ivory. Should the powdered 
Venetian red be too faint to give a trace as desired, you 
can mix »a small portion of ivory-black with it, in order to 
make it mark more distinctly ; but beware of using ivory- 
black alone, or you will subsequently have great trouble to 
get rid of the dingy marks. 

The outline having been made on paper, and its back 
being reddened, as explained above, the next thing will be 


to determine its proper position on the ivory. The taller 
the person represented, the nearer to the top should the 
head be placed ; on the contrary, the shorter the person. 


the lower down on the ivory, this being the only way we 
have of giving an approximate notion of the real height of 
the figure. 

HnnATUBB SAnmse, 

G^erall; speaking, if the head be not placed equally 
distant from the two aides of the picture, it should be 


allowed a little more space in front of tlie face than other- 
vise, aa in Fig. in, Haced as in Fig. iv., it vould look 
very awkward. 


It also produces an ungracefiil effect, to draw both the 
head and the body exactly in the same view, (as in Pig. v. ;) 




therefore turn the figure slightly away from the face, so as 
to give a marked, though not great variation ; not however 
too great, lest it look strained, or have what may be called 
too much motion, a great mistake in all mere portraits, 
especially those on so small a scale as miniatures. The 
only sure way to accomplish this, is to paint merely the 


face first, and afterwards to adapt the figure to it in what- 
ever way may seem most graceful. The frontiapiece affords a 

very beautiful illustration of Sir T. Lauiences' skill in giving 
a graceful and varied outline to his portraits. Portraits, 
though faithful as t^ the likeness, often suggest the idea of 
a larger person than the original really is. In some re- 
spects, this is unavoidable in a picture^ from its very 
limited size : — limited, that is, as compared with a lady in 


ntiiiKB VII. 

a loftj room or onder the vast expanse of the sky. This 
is an inconvenience inseparable from art, and must be 


allowed for accordingly. Were we to attempt to pro- 
portion even a little girl of seven years of age to 
the size of a piece of ivory four inches square, it 
would give some such preposterous appearance as is here 
represented. {See Kg. vn.) 

Your outline having been thus fairly transferred in red 
to the ivory, by means of the chalked paper, the next 
process will be to draw each feature with the brush as 
correctly as you can, not relying on the red outline beyond 
its being an approximate guide; for, trace it as carefully 
as you wiU, the tracing point will more or less falsify the 
drawing; so that every line and every distance must be 
carefully revised, as on this preliminary caution your ultimate 
success will chiefly depend. 

Keep in mind distinctly the following axioms of "the 
beautiful'^ : 

A short upper lip indicates high breeding. 

The ears should be small. 

Tailing shoulders are graceful. 

A nez retrousse indicates pertness, and, if occurring in 
nature, must not be exaggerated in the picture. 

A Boman nose is too marked in a woman, and must be 
treated in the picture with a view rather to repress than to 
amplify it. 

A long neck is graceful ; not so a short neck and square 

A small head is more elegant than a large one ; yet do 
not forget that one too small gives the appearance of the 
head of an idiot. 



Almost every painter sees nature with a different eye, and 
uses different colours to imitate it, some more successfully 
than others ; the colours, however, to be shortly mentioned 
below, will produce every effect that may be required. We 
will begin with the local flesh colour, which must be washed 
in delicate tints over aU the flesh, before the shadows and 
the half-tints, (or " demi-tints,'') are put in. 

The nearest approach to the general colour of " flesh^' is 
Venetian red, having a little Indian yellow mixed with it. 
The colour of the face is usually divided into three "tones," 
or gradations ; the forehead is also a little more yeUow than 
the cheeks or chin. These, however, are to be looked upon 
as general principles, as almost every face has some pecu- 
liarity of colour in it, which it is the business of the artist 
to observe and to imitate. 


For these, the local colour wiU stiU be Venetian red ; 
with Soman ochre, however, instead of Indian yellow, as 
mentioned above. 



Having got your local colour as dark as you think your 
picture will justify, proceed next to wash in the principal 
shadows. These are the masses above the eyes, the shadowed 
side of the nose and face, the shadow under the lower lip, 
and those of the jaw. 


Properly speaking, there can be no one mixture for 
shadow-tints, inasmuch as each shadow in a face not only 
varies from the others, but those in one face will differ from 
those of another : I give therefore a general mixture to be 
kept as a foundation, which can be made a little more 
purple, a little more yellow, or a little more grey, as occasion 
may require. It will be noticed that the colours chosen 
are permanent, as far as colours can be so. 

Venetian red, cobalt, pink madder, and Indian yellow 
are to be mixed together to a slightly purplish tone ; and it 
wiU be. a great convenience if enough of this be prepared 
to last for a month. 



In observing the colour of the human face, the un- 
educated eye sees nothing more than the general or local 
colour, making no nice distinctions between shadows, 
'^ demi-tints,'* "pearl,'' or "grey tints;'* yet such grada- 
tions and varieties do exist; and very much of what is 
called "flesh-colour" is composed of purples and greys. 
Such, however, should never be so violent or decided, as to 
impress the spectator with the notion of a prevalence of 
blue and purple, and sometimes even of green. The 
delicate shadows of the forehead are more grey than those 
of the lower face ; the half shadows under the eyes are more 
inclined to purple ; but whenever the deep shadows blend 
into the local flesh colour, there will also be found a lilac 
or a grey, according as the complexion is light or dark. 
With many artists the lilac or pearly tint is in great request, 
especially where the complexion is delicate and the skin 
transparent, as in children. Greys are found by adding 
cobalt to the shadow colour ; pearly tint, by a mixture of 
cobalt and pink madder, modified, when used, by "shadow 
colour." It is a fine study for beginners to contemplate 
the head in the National Gallery, called the *"G«rvartius" 
of Vandyke, for the charm of its "pearly tint." The green, 
seen in the works of some modem miniature painters, arises 
merely from their having copied oil pictures by the old 
masters, without reference to the fact of the origioal greys 
having become green by the varnishes over them having 
turned yellow. 



There are no such things in nature as blue or black eyes ; 
the terms are merely relative. The blue, may be made by 
cobalt modified by "shadow colour/' the black, by an ad- 
mixture of burnt terra sienna with " shadow colour /' or, if 
very black, by the addition of a little lake, and sepia, the 
pupil of the eye beiug marked in with sepia. Some "blue'' 
eyes are of a purpleish hue ; in which case, add a little pink 
madder to your cobalt. 


The nearest approach to the colour of the cheeks and the 
lips will be found in a mixture of pink madder and Vermil- 
lion, either colour predominatiug according to the subject. 
It must be kept in mind, that children have more Vermil- 
lion, adults more pink madder, and old people more of a 
purple tone ; this last being made by adding a little cobalt 
to the former mixture. Some painters 'use carmine; but 
of itseK it is far too bright, besides being very fugitive; 
hence pink madder is in all respects better. The upper lip 
being almost always in shadow is both darker, and less 
bright in colour, than the lower lip ; but as these reds will 
lose somewhat by time, they may be painted a little brighter 
in colour than they are in nature, to allow for this loss. 
The chin is also redder than the surrounding colour. The 
shadows of the jaw from the mouth downwards — (being the 



tliird of the gradations of tone first spoken of) — ^partake of 
the ^^ pearly tint/^ with a slight admixture of grey as it 
approaches the chin. 


Though the neck is invariably of a greyer tone than the 
face, yet great care must be used not to give it a lead 

The clavicles, or collar bones, are sometimes slightly red ; 
and the shadows of the bosom are usually of a bluish tint. 


The elbows are slightly pink, (pink madder), and the 
tints of the hands also, in healthy girls ; and though the 
lower arm is often of a purple hue, yet use this with 
cautious discretion. 

If the flesh colour of your sitter be very yellow, put near 
it a yeUow ribband, or, at least, a more powerful yellow, to 
overpower by contrast this undesirable peculiarity ; and so, 
with a very red or purple face, a red, or purple curtain, or 
any other suitable adjunct may be admissible with the same 

HAIU. 35 


The shades of hair are so various, that you must endeavour 
io match its tints from nature, always keeping in mind, that 
the lights on hair differ from the local colour ; the lights on 
brown hair, for instance, being of a purple hue. There is 
nothing worse than to make the shadows of hair of the 
same colour as the hair, but merely darker than the local 
tint. I give a few general mixtures to be used with due 
allowance as approximations. 

Flaxen Hair, — This is produced by Roman ochre, 
modified with sepia. The shadows of this hair are often 
of a greenish hue, which sepia will give. These two 
colours — (the sepia predominating) — ^will also make ^^ piggy 

Auburn Hair, — Lights made in neutral tint, with a 
little lake; local colour, burnt umber; deepest shadows, 
perhaps a little lake in addition. 

Chesnut Hair, — ^The lights are somewhat purple; the 
local tint is burnt umber, and lake modified by sepia ; the 
deepest shadows often partake of rather a purple hue. 

Mouse-Coloured Hair, — ^This kind of hair occurs very 
often; neutral tint and burnt umber make a very lovely 
mixture ; the shadows, sepia. 

Bright Red Hair, — Be careful never to exaggerate this 
kind of hair. Venetian red, and lake modified by sepia, 
if required, will form it ; burnt terra sienna is sometimes 
used. If more yellow be wanted, add a little Roman 

36 HAIR. 

ochre. Eed hair may be neutralized by placing white 
ribbons or bands neax it, which will make it Lker j while 
blue ribbons have the effect of making the red tones much 
more conspicuous. 

Barh Brown Hair, — ^Lights, purple ; local colour, sepia, 
with perhaps a touch of lake. 

Raven-Black Hair, — ^Lights, neutral tint, and a little 
indigo ; local tint, indigo lake and gamboge, mixed together 
to form a black, or a rather purple, brown or blue tone, 
according as one or other of these colours may pre- 

Grey Hair. — Cobalt and sepia will produce an iron-grey, 
to which may be added a little neutral tint, or a little 
burnt umber, to modify it either way to the peculiar tint 
you require. 

A white cap on the grey hair of a lady wiU render the 
grey less conspicuous. Black near it, as a black cap, or 
neck ornaments, will make it more apparent than may be 

The light and shadow of hair generally must be painted 
in masses ; and in finishing, never attempt to make out 
single hairs, unless it be to divide the masses or to break the 
contour of the face ; but even for this purpose, small tints, 
or locks rather than single hairs, should be used. In this 
a reference to good pictures or to good engravings will be 
the best guide. 

EYBBaowa. 37 


These differ according to the hair of the head, but are 
often darker. It may be well to observe, that eyebrows 
Bxo never " arched" in nature, so that to paiut them so ^ 
a very great mistake. The eyebrow invariably ptutakes 
(more or less) of the following form : 

and must be drawn with this feehng : — the nearest point 
to the eye will be where it approaches the nose ; the widest 
part is above the outer comer of the eye. 

nciiBB IX. 



^^Touches^^ are the darkest parts of the various features, 
and where the expression is concentrated, as the pupil of 
the eye, the eyelash, the darkest part of the eyebrow, the 
nostrils, the comers of the mouth. They give the true 
expression of the features ; they are, however, always put 
in last, and are mixed with gum-arabic, to give force and 
transparency. Sepia may be used for those about the eye ; 
but the nostrils are put in with pink madder and sepia : 
this is true also of the mouth. The mouth is the most 
changeable of all the features, and the touches upon it will 
determine the general expression. 

The light in the pupil of the eye, and on the nose, is 
always to be put in with constant white. " White lead^^ 
must never be used, as it wiU turn brown or black ; indeed it 
ought never to be made as a water colour, so thoroughly has 
it been superseded by other superior chemical foundations. 


Next to expression and good colour is roundness. This 
is effected partly by graduating your shadows gently into 
your Kghts, and partly by " reflections /^ that is, where the 
greatest depth of shadow is between the light and the 
extreme edge of the round object to be represented. These 
^^ reflections'^ may generally have a Httle yellow (Roman 
ochre) worked into them; with careful judgment, however, 
for yeUow is a very powerful colour, and may easfly be 


over-used. The chief reflections in a face are at the jaw 
and in the shadowed side of the neck. The principle of re- 
flections will be found developed in the figures here shewn. 


Do not make the shadows of your face too dark, especially 
under the nose, as they will look muddy. It is said that 
Queen Elizabeth would never permit any shadows to be 
put in the face of her portrait. Sir T. Laurence painted 
many pictures nearly oii this principle ; that is to aay, all 
broad shadows were avoided, and the rest made so dehcate 
as scarcely to appear.* (See Fig. xn.) 

" It ia observable that, in the celebrated "Chateau de paJlle," 

of Rubens, there appears to be no shadow in the face. The fact is, 
the face is ahnost all shadow, the real light on it being tcij small 
indeed, while the shadows and demi-tints are so transparent as not 
to be easily detected. This sort of picture b technically called a 
"demi-tint" head, relieved bj dark touches. 


Be careful tliat the space on tbe upper lip, between the 
nose and the mouth, be not left too light, or the effect will 
be ft disagreeable pout. It is generally of a slightly 
greyish tint. 

The ear should always be well covered down, that it may 
be secondary to tbe more important lights. It is generally 
of a pink tint, {pink madder and shadow colour). A large 
or prominent human ear is, in nature, ever an ugly, 
unsightly object, being, in fact, an organ without being a 

"When the head is turned to a three-quartet view, avoid, 
if possible, making the eyes look at you, lest it give a 
sinister and disagreeable leer. 

rievBB xui. 


K you wish to see the effect of light and shade, 
or of colour, turn the face upside down, when you 
will see both without being misled by the identity of the 

It is a common fault to paint a front view of the mouth 
to a three-quarter face. The mouth should of course be 
foreshortened as well as the other features. 

Never leave lights running up into comers, but cover 
the comers down. 

Having washed in, as far as you possibly can, the 
colour, light, shadow and expression of your head, the 
figure and dress must next be carefully adapted to it, 
and then painted. Be careful to get something, if possible, 
white, near the face, such as a shirt-coUar or a frill; 
this, besides generally being your brightest light, will 
give tone to the face, for white is the test of a good 
flesh colour.* You may now wash in aU your drapery, 
but without using any gum in your colour; and having 
' effected this, put in your background, so adapting it 
in tone and colour as to give to the face its greatest 
possible value ; this done, (as far as ^'washing in'' can 
possibly do it), you may begin to stipple, but not before. 
This mode of "fiiiishing'' will be treated of hereafter, as 
some observations must previously be made. 

* This is the reason why, generally speaking, the old Italian 
masters (Titian excepted), never used it at all, or, at least, so sub- 
dued it that it should not injure their flesh colour. The Flemish 
painters alone, from their superiority in colouring, could permit 
white to be near their flesh colour. 


Until the dress with its jcoIouts be axranged and sketched 

in, yon cannot tell what yonr background should be, as 

that is consequent upon the face and draperies, and, in 

fact, as we shall hereafter see, makes the picture.* 

It must be evident to aU that the head is the principal 
object of interest, and everything else must be done with 

an eye to set that off to the greatest advantage. As soon 

as the head is painted in, it will be well to gum the ivory 

to the paper beneath, avoiding contact with the gum where 

the head is, as the gum would appear through the ivory 

with a bluish tone, and so spoil the flesh tint. When this 

is dry, gum the second leaf of paper, and so on to the third; 

this will be enough to insure opacity, and the others may 

be left loose. 


Most things that are gaudy, are vulgar ; and much, that 
does not seem so very vulgar in nature, will appear so in a 
picture ; for this reason, if even an intensely blue dress be 
worn in a room, the colours of the furniture, the giding, 
and the adjacent accessories, even to the dress of others. 

* Sometimes, in order to save time, painters take a sitting or 
two for the face, and then proceed to put the background or 
drapery in, to its full force; but this is a bad plan, generally 
resulting in the face being feeble compared with the accessories. 


help to destroy its obtrusive predominance; but as all 
pictures are necessarily limited in size, and miniatures 
particularly so, such neutralizing adjuncts cannot be in- 
troduced without crowding the picture. Therefore blue, 
excepting to a very small extent, should be avoided, as it is 
a colour extremely difficult to be harmonized with others on 
so small a scale. Indeed, all positive colours are liable to 
the same objection, except black, which, however, is a 
negative colour ; and in choosing the colour of the dress 
of your sitter, some reference should be made to the 
complexion : thus, morone and amber, with a yellowish 
green background, harmonize well with a glowing dark 
complexion, but would annihilate a very fair Hght-haired 
girl, to whom a white or a pale blue dress would be more 
suited. In fact, the object of a choice of proper colour in 
dress is to assist, and not to destroy, the complexion. 

As it is not our object, in this work, to treat (excepting 
incidentally) of composition and design, and as it would be 
quite impossible to give the mode of mixing every possible 
tint that may come before you, I can only give you a few 
mixtures for the compound colours that most commonly 

Blues. — ^Blue is (excepting as an accessory) a disagree- 
able colour; the brighter blues are ultramarine, Prench 
blue, and cobalt, but the last works the best, and is 
generally bright enough for most things ; smalt is gritty in 
washing. If you must use blue drapery, "kiU^^ it as much 
as possible by making your shadows brownish, or as warm 
as possible; or, as blue is a very powerful colour, make the 


mass of drapery, gown, or coat, ^'negative,'' L e., only of a 
blueish colour; when a few touches of bright blue will produce 
all the effect of blue without destroying the adjacent colours* 

Dark Slue, — Indigo and Prussian blue ; indigo is to be 
preferred as being less positive. 

Beds. — Scarlet vermillion, by itself a heavy colour, is 
much increased in brightness by laying under it a strong 
tint of Indian yellow ; another more transparent scarlet may 
be made with Indian yeUow and carmine ; the shadows of 
scarlet may be of lake and sepia. 

Crimson is usually carmine, as it is a very powerful 
colour ; the shadows, carmine and sepia. 

Lake is also a crimson, but inferior in brilliancy to 
carmine; sepia and lake, however, make an excellent 
colour for "touches" in various parts of your picture, 
and wiU, with the addition of a little cobalt, form a fine 

A "scriptural red,^^ i. e,, of the tone and colour of 
the robe of the Saviour, is made by Venetian red and 
lake, modified as you like by sepia; shadows, sepia and 

Pink is merely carmine thinly laid, the shadows, which 
are inclining to lilac, may be made with a little cobalt and 
sepia, mixed with the local colour. 

Yellows. — ^The principal of these are Indian yeUow, gam- 
boge, Roman ochre, and chrome, or cadmium yellow ; with 
these you may form any tint of yeUow that you may require. 
Indian yellow is a warm yellow, the shadows of which may 
be slightly purple; gamboge is a pale, sickly yellow, the 


shadows of which are of a greenish hue (sepia will make 
them); and cadmium is a rich orange yellow, quite per- 
manent, the shadows of which may be made of cadmium 
itself, sepia and lake ; Eoman ochre, is a brownish yellow, 
semi-opaque, and used in solemn scriptural pictures. 


Purples, — Crimsons and blues mixed together make 
purples; carmine, or lake and indigo, or carmine and 
French blue, will form a dark purple ; carmine and cobalt, a 
lilac purple ; these purples may be subdued with sepia to 
whatever tone you like. 

Greens. — Indian yellow, with Indigo, or Prussian blue, 
will form dark green, (the Prussian blue the brightest). 
Gamboge and cobalt form a pea or cold light green; 
gamboge and Prussian blue form a sea or emerald green ; 
Roman ochre. Indigo, and sepia will form a drab or dull 

The shadows of green are often of a reddish colour ; 
(Venetian red, or lake mixed with sepia). Green is a very 
powerful colour, and a disagreeable one if used in large 
masses. It requires to be kiUed with warm colour. 

Orange, — Cadmium mixed with carmine and lake will 
form an orange ; its shadows, carmine or lake, qualified with 

coMPoinn) TINTS. 47 

Browns. — Sepia and burnt umber are the principal 
browns used in miniature painting. 

Sepia^ lake, and a little indigo will form a rich brown. 

Burnt umber, or Venetian red modified with lamp or 
ivory black, will form a useful snufif-coloured brown, prin- 
cipally used in painting coats. 

Whites, — ^The very best white that you can use for 
draperies, &c., is that introduced by Winsor and Newton, 
and called by them " Chinese white.^^ It is an oxide of 
zinc, and therefore cannot change. It is of a good body, 
and works well ; it is however not very bright, so that for 
the highest lights of all the old constant or " permanent 
white,^^ must be used. 

Blacks. — Indigo, lake, and gamboge form a transparent 
black ; lamp or ivory black, an opaque black, to be used 
for black velvets or coats, the lights of which are made 
by mixing Chinese white with it. 

The shadows of lace may be put in with a greyish tint ; 
some choice lace is in nature very yellow, the shadows 
partaking more or less of that tint ; do not paint them so, 
however, when near flesh, as they will make your lace 
look merely dirty. 

Gold. — ^For the local colour of gold epaulettes, &c., 
Roman ochre will be found bright enough, as gold 
is a very quiet, unobtrusive colour; the shadows may 
be of burnt umber, and if there be a red coat, a 
little Vermillion will creep into the reflections. The 
lights of gold, which are very subdued in colour, may 
be put in with chrome yellow mixed with Chinese 


white, deadened with burnt umber or burnt terra- 

In the manifold draperies used in water colours, some 
are transparent and some opaque, according to the texture 
of the material. Opaque colours are better when used in 
powder than in cake, as having more body ; they must be 
mixed with a palette-knife on a ground-glass slab. When 
mixed to the tint you require, they must be laid on thickly 
with a brush, and any inequalities scraped down: when 
they are dry, a wash of thin gum-arabic is to be passed 
carefully over them, as evenly as may be, but not, if it be 
possible, so as to be obliged to go over the same place 
twice. When it is quite dry, any inequalities must, as stated 
above, be taken off with a scraper, and gum again passed 
over ; and this process is to be repeated until the surface is 
smooth and shining. Then paint your lights and shadows 
on the surface with a portion of gum, and you will thus 
get solidity or texture combined with transparency and 


When the head and drapery are put in, it is the back- 
ground which forms the picture, and its use is not merely 
to throw out the principal object, but by its tone and colour 
to control and harmonise the whole. 


Although, in miniature painting, gum should not be used 
in the fece and drapery, until the background is put in and 
the finishing is commenced, yet it is better to use a little 
gum in the colour which you use for the background. 
Wash it in, however, as evenly as you can, and do not 
attempt to stipple it in from the first. When dark enough 
in tone, and of the proper colour, leave it, and commence to 
finish first the face and then the drapery ; and when that is 
all done, then commence to stipple your background, but 
not before, because your background is intended merely to 
assist the more interesting parts. 

Do not in any picture begin and finish any particular 
part at once, (unless it be the head, in a case of limitation 
as to the time of sitting) ; but keep the picture together ; 
that is, get every part of it in before you begin to " finish i^ 
this is a golden rule. 

As miniatures are necessarily on a very small scale, do 
not crowd your background with a number of unmeaning 
objects ; but begin by painting them simply, as mere modes 
of giving effect to your principal object. 

Sometimes, when you are compelled by circumstances to 
paint a person in a gaudy dress, as an Indian prince or 
princess, or in a costume, you may require some object or 
accessory by which to repeat the colour ; in that case, a 
vase of flowers, or a macaw, or a glowing sky, such as a 
sunset, will give you an opportunity for the repetition of 
whatever colours you may consider desirable. You must 
however look at blues, reds, and yeUows as general colours, 
and not as individual tints of any one colour. You need 



not therefore repeat scarlet with scarlet, but by some other 
red; since scarlet and crims6n are equally reds, gamboge 
and orange are both yellows, as indigo and cobalt are 
equally blues, although of different tints. Indeed, avoid, 
as far as possible, repeating the same colours with the same 
tints of that colour. 

If you must have a curtaiQ, use an opaque colour for it, 
whilst the skies or other parts should be of transparent 
colour ; it then gives a difference of texture. 

When the flesh colour of your sitter is a very bad one, 
you will find that a background of duU green (yellow ochre, 
sepia, and a Httle indigo) will give it its fuU value ; that is, 
it win, by contrast, show the reds to the best advantage. 
This "green^^ may vary according to the colour of the 
dress and the other objects, from a yellow green to a drab. 
I would not, however, recommend a cold, blue green ; and 
the shadows of this green background may be of a rather 
purple or lake-coloured hue, produced by sepia, lake, and 
perhaps a little indigo. 

The following remarks will elucidate our views as to the 
effect of contrast in colour. If a lady in a very white 
dress have a very dark background, the white dress will 
become intensely conspicuous, and will be in every way 
offensive to the eye. The same principle must be applied 
to a dark dress, which for similar reasons must not have a 
very light background, or it will become too heavy : this is 
that balance of power which is called " tone.^^ 

With a very fair lady of a very delicate complexion, the 
dress ought to be white, or at least of some very delicate 


colour; and the light background may be sky, that the 
blue in it may, by its gentle contrast, give value to, and not 
overpower, the flesh. A swarthy man or woman should 
have a dark dress and a dark background. Eeds are best 
for dark people ; blues for fair ones : put pink roses near a 
dark skin, and you will destroy it ; but put dark blue, or 
even green, and you will give it value. Such is the way in 
which aU these matters should be looked at. 

As regards what may be called the antagonism of colours, 
it is a good plan to keep the warmest ones near the centre 
of your picture, and the blues and colder colours outside ; 
while the best relief of any single object is admitted to be 
that where the background is rather darker than the lights, 
and Hghter than the shadows. These principles, however, 
are best seen by the study, not the copying, of engravings 
from pictures by great masters. 

By '^tone'^ in painting, harmony is to be understood — 
harmony as well in colour as in Hght and shade, the absence 
of violent contrast in both. Difficult as this may be to 
beginners, it is a principle that must never be lost sight of, 
and, by degrees, the eye will become educated to perceive 
it, to require it, and to bfe offended by its absence. 

Having thus, by washing, got in your design, your 
colour, your Hght and shadow to their full force as nearly 
as you can, you may now begin to finish the head, im- 
proving its colour and its light and shade, and giving also 
the expression as nearly as you can. Study the picture 
well ; do nothing at random ; go over it again and again, 
until you feel certain that you can, at that time at least, da 

E 2 



no more satisfactorily, and then pnt it by for a week, when 
your fresh eye will probably detect several points that may 
be improved, but which your jaded vision before over- 


The surface of ivory is so hard that the tints are not 
absorbed as on paper ; consequently, the difficulty of wash- 
ing one tint over another is greater, and the interstices ot 
inequalities of the tints, not being so even as on paper, 
require filling up to make them so. This is the sole object 
of that dotting, technically termed ^^ stippling/^ which so 
many mistake for the end instead of the means."^ Stippling, 
I repeat, is the means, not the end, and, as a means, it is 
inseparable from miniature painting ; but it must be used 
as an assistance to, not a substitute for, the real object ; 
namely, expression, colour, and roundness. I wiU now 
describe the principle of stippling. 

Every wash of colour is more or less uneven; that is, 
some parts are darker than others, some spots lighter. 

* Some tyros begin by "stippling in'* their colour — ^an inter- 
minable labour, resulting in a feeble, sickly picture; and not 
knowing why, they believe that the end, erroneously called "finish- 
ing," is attained. The truth is, that a roughly-worked miniature 
may be very highly-finished, as far as expression, colour, and round- 
^ess — the real points of a picture, are concerned. 

snppuNO. 53 

This is particularly the case when, to get in the depth of 
colour, the washes are necessarily small, or when, as on 
ivory, it is difficult to wash one tint over another. 

^^ StippUng*' is, then, the tilting up with colour these 
little inequalities, and taking out, with a brush or scraper, 
those dark spota of colour which, if also fiUed up, might 
make your tint too dark. These minute touches of 6olour 
must not be put on in dots of all the same shape, as that 
would be mere unmeaning ^^ dotting;^' but you must 
endeavour to fill up as nearly as you can each interstice in 
the form in which it happens to be left. 

Unless that you have some particular object in view, 
your touches ought not to be so dark as to appear. There 
is a manner of stippling which will make your tint either 
darker or lighter ; for, curious as it may seem, the general 
effect of stippling is to make your face or background seem 
lighter than before, although in reality more colour has 
been added to it. K you wish your tints to be lighter, 
begin by removing all the darker spots, and then delicately 
fill up the interstices so as not to add colour to the general 
tint j if you wish your tints to be darker, fill up between 
the dark spots until they disappear. This is, in fact, the 
whole art of stippling. Scrapers made for the purpose may 
be used, or sometimes the point of a needle ; and occasion- 
ally the wetted point of a fine sable brush is advantageous. 
As a general principle, the scraper should be used as 
sparinglyas possible, else your miniature will have a dis- 
agreeable, scratchy character; and if it be used much in 
forming the texture of hair, it will produce an undesirable 


grey colour. Leave all the lights that you can ; do not' 
make them by scraping out. 


Having now gone through all the processes of miniature 
painting on ivory, I will next point out the trifling differences 
and advantages of paper or Bristol board in the art. 

Paper admits of larger and bolder drawings being made 
on it than ivory; it washes more easily, and, generally 
speaking, is not so highly worked. It may either be left 
sketchy, as a vignette, which could not well be done on 
ivory, or it may be filled up as a picture. On paper, 
however, the Hghts must be left, as the scraper cannot be 
used, for by it the surface of the material would be destroyed. 
There is a mode, however, of partially supplying this latter 
defect, and, when your colour has roughened the paper, of 
smoothing it and producing almost the surface of ivory ; so 
that you can stipple it quite as readily, and nearly as finely, 
if you choose. It also allows you, if it be necessary, to 
wash out an error, the power of perfectly repairing the 
injured surface. This process is that of the "plate and 
roUer.^' The plate is made of steel, about 5^ inches square. 
The roller is something like a common table castor, furnished 
with a handle. 

One mode of using the plate and roller is to place the 
face, or any other part you may require to be affected by 
the process, downwards on the plate, and to rub, or rather 


press, the back of it with the roller until the requisite 
smoothness is attained; but the plan which I adopt is 
somewhat different : having placed the part to be smoothed 
(generally the face, and sometimes the arms) carefully upon 
the plate, the back of the drawing downwards, I then put a 
piece of glassed writing-paper over the surface, and use the 
roller over that ; by this means, it is more quickly done, 
and with less labour, and, as I think, with less danger of 
the work being injured. Whichever plan you adopt, care- 
fully place the part you wish smoothed as nearly in the centre 
of the steel plate as you can, lest your roller should go over 
the edge of the plate ; for, in this case, a most undesirable 
indentation would be made on your paper or Bristol board. 
Apply the roller quite evenly, not all in one direction, but 
when you have rolled from one end or side of the face to 
the other, roll a second and a third time in a diagonal 
direction, so that if any ridges should have been made in 
any one direction, the repetition of the process may restore 
the smoothness. 

You may occasionally lift up the writing-paper to ascer- 
tain what degree of smoothness the surface is receiving, and 
to see that you are not exceeding the limits of the flesh colour • 
as, except in case of accident, it is not necessary to smooth 
or polish any other part of the drawing than the flesh. 

The colours used on paper are precisely the same as on 
ivory ; but in painting white drapery it is desirable to use 
white in the lights, as it gives texture. 

Do riot use Indian rubber to obliterate any pencil mark^ 
on paper, else it will become greasy from the operation. 


besides receiving an abrasion of the surface. When such 
obliteration is necessary^ use the crumb of new^ not of stale, 


A few words wfll suffice to recal to the recollection of 
the reader the most important of the principles which I 
have endeavoured to lay down. 

Let it be ever borne in mind that painting is not, as 
many people imagine, a mere imitative art, but that it is 
one strictly reflective, requiring much skill in the dis- 
position and arrangement of its subject-matter; for the 
design, drawing, and colour, with the light and shadow, 
have to be attended to, not singh/ only, but as a whole* 

Li following the axioms laid down in the preceding 
pages, view them merely with reference to the beautiful; 
and do not destroy the individuahty of the portrait by 
straining after peculiar characteristics in order to make 
them agree with the standard of antiquity. 

Nothing, of course, can more tend to give a true taste 
and to strengthen the judgment, than a close and unre- 
mitting study of the works of the great masters; but, 
undoubtedly, much mischief often results to beginners 
from their copying even celebrated pictures before they 
have knowledge or judgment enough to discover and 
modify the defects of the originals, and to take advantage 
of their excellencies. The want of this knowledge often 
causes in copying an exaggeration of all that is bad, while 


the true beauties aud excellencies are overlooked. I may, 
as an illustration of my meaning, recommend the beginner 
to select, as studies for colour, the works of Titian, Eubens, 
Vandyke, and occasionally of Murillo ; but let him avoid, 
as studies in colour, the olive-tinted pictures of the Italian 
school, and the sombre darkness of Spagnoletto — at least, 
until he has made considerable progress, and has well 
stored his mind with a just and correct power of appre- 
ciating the excellencies of the different great masters. 
And, whenever he may determine to copy any picture, 
let him decide also what his object may be in the under- 
taking; whether, that is to say, it be for its drawing, its 
colouring, its expression, or its general subject; then let 
him follow it up with reference to this peculiar design. 

The mind, so trained in the best school of art, will 
avoid all undue gaudiness and glitter, and all meretricious 
ornamentation, as it will, on the other hand, dread to sink 
into the dark and gloom of extreme soberness in colour. 
There will ever be a constant anxiety to guard against 
violent oppositions of light and shadow, as well as strong 
contrasts of colour ; and it will be ever carefully remem- 
bered, that the greatest beauty of art is "harmony,^ 
that quiet, unobtrusive harmony, which is called ^'tone.^ 




■ V - .■''■-•'.£*'■'-..